While a tournament-ending injury means that Brazil will be without talisman Neymar for Tuesday’s semi-final clash against Germany, Lukas Podolski also says that his side lack a star player in their lineup.
However, the Arsenal forward maintains that Die Mannschaft function much better as a unit than their upcoming opponents and believes that is what will see them through to the final over the host nation.
‘We feel that we don't have players like Messi or Neymar, who can make a goal with one special movement, but we have a strong team,’ he said. ‘Everyone sticks together and this is important.
‘You are only the best team in the world when you win the World Cup. When you lose the semi-final, you are out so we have to win. We play to win'.
‘Of course, to play against Brazil in Brazil will be a special game,’ he added. ‘It will be a great game for the world but we have two matches to go and we want the title.
‘We can be the first European team to win a World Cup in South America. It won't be easy because a lot of European teams are out, but we are here and we are strong.
‘The World Cup is not a competition where the team that plays the best football wins the tournament.’
A veteran of two previous World Cups with an impressive 47 goals in 116 games since his 2004 debut, Podolski is one of the most experienced players in the Germany squad but has started just one match so far in Brazil, not featuring for the side since being forced off at half-time against the USA with a muscle problem.
After an injury-hit season at Arsenal, the 29-year-old was no certainty to be included in the squad this summer and 2014 will likely be his final appearance on the world’s biggest stage, after third-place finishes in both 2006 and 2010.
While Joachim Low’s outfit may not boast a star of the same quality as Neymar or Lionel Messi, names such as Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos are certainly not be sniffed at and speak to the overall depth Germany possess at their disposal.
Facing a Brazil team which has underwhelmed thus far and now has to cope without the man who has spearheaded their run to the final four, Podolski and his teammates are in a prime position to upset the hosts and continue their quest for a fourth World Cup title.